Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Reporter
BULAWAYO Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Paul Nyoni has dismissed remarks by the Bulawayo City Council that the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme has not been helpful and said the Council has failed to utilise funds they have been given to fix roads which has resulted in minimal work being done in Bulawayo.
He said the programme was being implemented at a slow pace due to the poor management of contractors by the local authority.
In the past week, the council which was under pressure from motorists complaining about poor state of the city’s roads blamed the ERRP which it said was not delivering to expectations.
Addressing councillors during a full council meeting on Wednesday, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni attributed the city’s bad road network to ERRP2.
He said out of the 18 roads taken over by the Government under ERRP2, only three were completed.
In response, Mr Nyoni said: “We want to clarify issues around the ERPP2 following claims that the programme has not been helpful to Bulawayo residents. The programme was launched in 2021 as a statutory instrument to assist all councils whose roads were in a state of emergency including Bulawayo,” said Mr Nyoni.
He said councils continue to receive their share according to Zinara standards while the department of roads uses its budget.
“What is noteworthy is that BCC recorded very little progress in terms of using money allocated to the province which was a result of poor contract management,” said Mr Nyoni.
He said contractors engaged by the council failed to meet deadlines set under the ERRP2.
“We had a provincial development committee meeting this past week and these facts were confirmed by Zinara, other stakeholders and BCC officials. We are saying failure in managing contractors cannot be translated to failure of the programme. One of the ERPP2 policies says any council which uses all allocated funds will get more hence the need for
BCC to be competitive in implementing this project because funds are available,” said Mr Nyoni.
He said his office will soon issue a comprehensive statement on what has been achieved in Bulawayo since the launch of ERRP2 in 2021. — @thamamoe